by LAUREN CODLING
A YOUNG Indian who works to promote gender equality in her local community and a Pakistani founder of a network designed to teach underprivileged children the national curriculum are among those who met British prime minister Theresa May on Monday (25) as part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme.
Originating from 38 Commonwealth nations, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the group of young people, aged 18-29, have all completed the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme.
Launched in 2014, the project intends to recognise young people who work to “transform”
their local communities. The leaders were all awarded for their achievements.
Those celebrated included Trisha Shetty, 27, and Haroon Yasnin, 25, who have founded
initiatives to tackle social equality within their native countries of India and Pakistan.
The prime minister met the Commonwealth leaders at a Downing Street reception
to honour their achievements.
Speaking with so many “inspirational” young people showed how positive the Commonwealth can be, said May. She highlighted her delight at the work the leaders
were doing, including serving their communities, helping others and offering opportunities to other young people.
“The UK is committed to a fairer, more sustainable and more prosperous Commonwealth,
and at the heart of that vision must be its young people,” the prime minister noted. “That’s why the voices of youth representatives were given such a high priority when the heads of governments met earlier this year; and why I will continue to ensure young people take centre stage as we shape the Commonwealth of the future.”
The young leaders in attendance chatted with the prime minister about their work across a variety of fields, including healthcare, women’s rights and equality, STEM and environmental concerns.
The reception was also attended by school’s minister Nick Gibb and Sir John Major, former prime minister and the chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.
Gibb noted a common quality within the leaders he had met was their desire to help
others in need.
“There is a strand of altruism that runs through all of them and I hope they build on the opportunities they’ve been given and go on to inspire a new generation of young leaders,” he added.